PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Friday, one Hawks View Elementary School student was announced as the 2023 Oregon Kid Governor.
Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan visited the Sherwood school to congratulate new Kid Governor Lea Andrus in person.
“The Oregon Kid Governor program is an incredible civic education program that teaches young Oregonians how their government works,” Fagan said in a release. “I support this program because it gives a real-life civics education to young kids. The free program provides toolkits, lesson plans, and Oregon specific education tools celebrating Oregon democracy.”
After more than 3,200 students and 127 classrooms in Oregon participated in the yearly election, Andrus was the winning candidate.
Each candidate chooses a campaign platform, and Andrus was focused on ending bullying. The fifth-grader plans to implement a weekly note program, called Tootles, to encourage connections between classmates. She wants schools to “promote daily acts of kindness” and elect “kindness helpers” as well.
Other kid governor campaigns centered on pollution, recycling, racism, healthcare and health in schools.
Oregon has participated in the kid governor program since 2017. It was the second state to adopt the program, after the Connecticut Democracy Center started it in 2015.
Kid governor candidates had to submit a brief video where they spoke about their leadership skills, a community issue that matters to them and three steps that they would take to address that issue.
Twenty-two students sent videos to become governor, but a panel of judges narrowed down to just seven finalists that fifth-graders all throughout Oregon then had to choose from.
After being inaugurated in January 2023, Andrus will start her term as kid governor. The other six finalists will serve as cabinet members.